Make lists when you feel overwhelmed. Things will seem more organized on paper. Simply by writing the list, you will feel you already have begun to conquer it. Start with something easy to get you going. You can include deadlines, work and personal tasks. But beware the oppressive power of the list and remember who’s in charge! If an item has been carried over from several previous lists, cross it off — it can’t be that necessary.

Daily Time Management at Work

To keep track of your daily tasks, use checklists, Post-it notes, diaries, calendars, personal or electronic organizers and appointment books. Time often is lost due to disorganized filing systems, lack of an “in-tray” system, keeping unnecessary copies of paperwork and working alongside colleagues with a hoarding instinct.

If a meeting is dragging on, aim to steer conversation back to the matter at hand and summarize progress made so far. If appropriate, point out the time. Keep phone calls to a minimum, as they can continue longer than expected. Explain that you have an urgent task to complete, and suggest a better time to talk.

If you work from home, you will need systems for filing and making appointments. Ensure that computer data is backed up regularly to avoid loss of information. The more frequently information is backed up the less disruption is likely to take place should an accident happen and data be lost.

Peak Performance

Body clocks vary between individuals — there will be times of the day when you feel more and less energetic. Some people get most done in the morning, and others don’t feel alert until late afternoon. This can have an effect on time management. As much as possible, take on demanding tasks when you have maximum energy.

References and other resources

Personal Time Management Guide

Time management tips from Mental Help Net

Study Guides and Skills for students